Ah, Europe in the spring! Gone are the gray skies and chilly temps of winter, and summer hasn’t brought its notorious crowds, heat waves, and price surges. We think spring is one of the best times to visit Europe, thanks to blooming gardens, warmer days, and lower hotel prices. That said, packing for Europe in the spring can be a bit tricky. You’ll need comfortable walking shoes, dependable separates that can handle fluctuating temperatures and the occasional rain storm, and a few fashion-conscious pieces to take you from a cafe sidewalk table to a wine bistro with ease. Here are the 11 packing essentials for Europe in the spring.
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The further south you go in Europe (Spain, Italy, Greece), the longer and brighter the spring days are going to get. Protect your eyes from the sun with a pair of stylish sunglasses. These were designed in Copenhagen (let’s keep the Europe theme alive) with a handmade acetate frame and UV400 protection. The tortoiseshell frames match everything in your suitcase, and the price is cheaper than a pre-fixe French dinner.
Spring in Europe generally means chilly mornings, warm afternoons, and occasional cool evening breezes. Layers are your very best friend, and you absolutely cannot go wrong with this lightweight cashmere scarf. The quality is unbelievable for this price range, and the camel, black, blush, or gray color options are easy neutrals. It’ll look great with a casual denim jacket for antique shopping on Portobello Road in London, or dressed up for a night at the opera in Vienna. Bonus points: the scarf doubles as a blanket to keep you warm on your flight home.
Brief rain showers and spring season go hand-in-hand throughout Europe, but especially in London, Norway, and Germany. Be prepared with a travel umbrella that won’t let you down. The Repel Windproof travel umbrella folds down to the size of mini-baguette, for easy transportation. It’s also coated with Teflon, so it dries fast. And this little wonder is built with seriously strong spokes that won’t bend in the wind.
Comfortable Walking Shoes
Shoes are arguably the hardest item to pack for Europe in spring. You want a pair that’s fashionable, but also comfortable enough for hours and hours of walking. Enter: Allbirds Runner-up Mizzles. They’re made from cozy merino wool that wicks moisture and repels odor, plus they have a Puddle Guard sole that stays dry. These are the pair you’ll wear all day without blisters or sore feet — some women even wear them without socks. Oh, and be prepared for compliments. They’re cute!
Handy Tote Bag
You’re gonna need a tote, and Everlane’s ReNew Traveler Tote is perfect for Europe in the spring. It’s made from 100% recycled nylon (basically rip proof), zips closed for security, and has an easy-access exterior pocket for stashing your sunnies and phone. Inside, you can easily fit your wallet, travel umbrella, scarf, and any souvenirs (or a bottle of wine) you pick up around town. Did we mention it rolls up for easy packing and storage? Come on, it’s the perfect Europe in the spring tote.
Bold Day-to-Night Dress
Europeans tend to dress with a bit more flair and care than Americans. This Mango ruffle maxi is an ideal dress for Europe in the spring. The bold hue is eye-catching, but still neutral enough to pair with black, camel, or gold accessories. The ruffled skirt adds a little flair and the overall fit is loose, easy, and comfortable. Long sleeves can be rolled up for warmer afternoons. This looks as good in a Copenhagen bakery as it does in an Italian bistro.
Performance Rain Jacket
The problem with most performance rain jackets is that though they keep you very dry, they’re also unbreathable and make you sweat. Not ideal for spring in Europe. Lululemon’s Rain Rebel jacket doesn’t have that problem, thanks to a soft sweat-wicking liner. Stay dry inside and out.
Warm Cardigan Sweater
We’re serious about packing layers for spring in Europe, and Everlane’s cropped alpaca cardigan is an easy layering choice. It has a high neckline that pairs with any undershirt, plus understated buttons and a rib pattern. The alpaca material resists pilling and is pretty darn soft. This cardigan is a cozy knit with a lightweight wear, making it spring’s favorite cardigan.
Refillable Water Bottle
Single-use plastics are officially out in Europe, where politicians voted to ban them by 2021. Don’t even think about buying plastic water bottles. Instead, come to Europe prepared with a high quality and super chic refillable bkr glass water bottle (it comes with a silicone sleeve, so you won’t have to worry about breaking it.). And if Iceland, Denmark, or Sweden are on your travel itinerary, what comes for free out of the tap is cleaner, purer, and better tasting than most commercially bottled water anyway.
This chambray shirt is the kind you can mix, match, and basically wear on repeat throughout your spring European trip. Wear it open to show off a pretty camisole, buttoned-up with a pair of high-waisted jeans, or tied at the midriff for sunny picnic days along the Seine. Consider packing a travel-size bottle of Febreze to keep it fresh.
Levi’s Wedgie Jeans have a cult following for their flattering fit that lifts your butt and denim that won’t sag, meaning these jeans will look good for multiple wears without a wash. We love the straight leg and cropped ankle for spring — they’ll show off your shoes and just the right amount of skin.
Cute Neutral Heels You Can Walk In
Speaking of showing off your shoes, a pair of black Soludos Gemma Heels deserve a space in your Europe suitcase. The asymmetrical upper adds just the right amount of interest, and the two-inch block heel is dressy without sacrificing walkability or comfort. These heels pair perfectly with the dress and jeans on this list, and probably almost everything else in your closet.
Spring in Europe means sun, and sun means skin damage, so you need to protect your face every day in Europe. Blue Lizard sunscreen was invented by Australians (they take skincare seriously) and the formula is oil-free, lightweight, and free of chemical ingredients. Plus, it has hyaluronic acid for moisture. Slather some on, and put your best face forward.
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